Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Down East

The Ocean in Maine during the month of May has a cool salty onshore breeze.
The breeze fills your lungs quenching the heat of stop and go traffic you just left behind.
Rally goers find hilly wooded nooks to pitch a tent. Windblown cedars struggle to push
out of gravel soils. Tide waters surround and envelop rough rock outcrops that jut above
the hypnotic lapping waves. Beach sand blows, filling voids just large enough for an
ultralight tent. This multi generation private island campground has restricted access
for the rally.  Trucks with blue barrels of salted lobster bait roll past the showers
and on to a private working wharf. Groups gather in screened comfort next to the
Kelp Shed’s stone fireplace. Find Canadian friends from three Provinces chatting
at picnic tables. Individuals find solace in the silence getting lost in the button brush
that holds sand from blowing away.
Leave the rally for a day trip and find Billy Joel’s DownEast.  Double and single lane
asphalt ribbons carry you first to Bailey and on to Orr Island. Take a bar seat at Cook’s
Lobster house and put yourself into your own VISA commercial. Lobster boats swing with
the tides hooked to moorings. Inside the helmet you ask yourself: “Is this a painting?”.     
   A lunch stop must is the Winnegance General Store.  Raw oysters on the half shell are farm raised in brackish river water. The result, the most gentle salty essence that matches the breeze.  A cup of the owner’s seafood chowder will not cut it, go for the bowl. Made fresh with each order this award winning chowder brings down the house. https://winnegancegeneralstore.wordpress.com/   

Iron John

Rossier and Poached Brook Trout

Facing South 12 Joes Head, Hermit Island

The Ripton Hermit and Sandy Marincic at  Winnegance General

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Showtime NYC

The Javits center went the length of the block, like a glass ship in wet dock ready to be released into the Hudson. Manhattan was under construction with scaffold and skip lifts covering steel structures hooked to the bedrock below. Surrounded by every major brand BMW Motorrad stood tall at the 2017 Progressive Motorcycle Show in New York City. Each company put forth their best interpretation of what a GS would be. Riders gravitated to the 850 GS with its ocean blue matte finish and it’s iso-mounted multifunction display. It looked like it was ready to snap saplings on singletracks in the whilliwacks. “Say Braaap” I yelled taking a picture of a future owner. The R1200GSP faced the flank on its centerstand. A tactical tool fit to rip like a heat seeking missile with criminals in its crosshairs. Riders threw their leg over an RR and were fitted with VR goggles to go for their own ride. While the factory race bike remained on a rotating platform unmolested by the throngs dragging their heels on every panier they could. Pack mentality ruled for local biker gangs. Hells Angels, Gunslingers, Outlaws, all tatted up walking in packs with name and rank displayed on vest front. They lingered longer at the custom bike builds that surrounded the exhibits picking one to vote for on their smartphones (no longer a contradiction), than they did at the K1600B bagger. On her side stand the bagger was black as night. Black as squid ink ready to leave the pack behind vanishing on the horizon with a sliver of silver reflecting headlights that pass. 18 year old Grace MacIntosh mounted the 310GS. This time she would be no pillion. This time it is her ride, not on Dad’s back carving his way through the Tail of the Dragon. “What you do you think about BMW dropping the weight and CC range” I asked. “I love it, I love it alot” she replied, “It means I might actually be able to get a bike”. She went on: “I like that it’s really inexpensive, and that I could actually afford it. I like the fact that it is small but also peppy, I feel like it can get around and keep up with bigger bikes, which is cool “ she laughed. “Is this the kind of bike that can keep dad and daughter together?” I asked. “Hopefully yeah” She laughed. Grace’s Dad let her enjoy the moment he looked on in proud silence. This was a true rite of passage.

A television show was being shot on stage while crowds poured over brands and vendors. I got a chance to visit with Mike Buckley from Dunlop. I shared with him how excited I was about the prospect of the Road Smart 3 tire. I have had a habit of premature tire wear with a couple other brands. I would like to think that it is the crowned roads of VT that are so hard on rubber, but it probably has more to do with my right hand. Access to industry is one of the real benefits of attending a show like the Progressive. It is also a great opportunity to try on helmets, gloves, and jackets for the first time. No two bodies are alike, I tried the Sportmodular helmet from AGV. I explained the unique problem this product would solve for me to the factory rep. I travel across the border into Canada to see my close friends, with a modular, I will be able to leave my helmet on, and satisfy the customs agents need to see my face. Between my glasses, gloves and all the other gear helmet removal takes a lot of time. The agent usually says “take as long as you need”. It is a bit uncomfortable with traffic stacked up behind me. I also stopped to talk with Long Haul Paul Pelland and had to wait my turn. A tall rider with brown hair and a red sweater stood in silence. When he began to speak the noise of the show ceased. “I have had MS for twelve years” he said to Paul without crying. “I know what you are doing, by visiting patients in the hospital”. Pelland has found his purpose in life riding all over the country raising money to fight MS. “I once was told a cure for MS was a million miles away, so I figured I would just go and get it, and bring it back”. I did come home with a new pair of gloves from the show. My oldest daughter put them on the morning after I got home. She thought they looked like gloves for a superhero. That’s just fine with me.

Javits Center NYC

Ready for patrol

Grace MacIntosh

Long Haul Paul's licence plate

My little Super hero 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Until Next Spring

Like the little death, fun is now over.
Winter turns shoulders with white lines under blankets of snow.
Sand and salt scratch the backs of tar snakes
who's slither and bite have slowed.
Gone the scent of hot rubber in the sun,
that peculiar flavor of gasoline,
that cherished tear while we turn our back to a circle of friends and ride home.
Asphalt swells and heaves with tectonic cracks.
Shutter no more, the warm blanket of bliss is pulled from your form...
Until next spring.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Interview with Brent Powers (19 min)

Powers and Rossier before our course correction by THE LAW,   somewhere in ME
Sandy Marincic and Powers as the Hermit looks on

Powers, putting M. LeVangie in stitches

Powers and Bear,  Hermit island, ME

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Iron John

Press play below for 25 min of audio with Iron John.

Left to right: Bear LeVangie, Iron John, Eric Rossier and the Hermit

On the pier, Bucksport,  ME

SENA install, Hermit Island, ME

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tupperware Party

     It was time to change the air filter on my 2009 R1200RT Joy. I had the new part in stock and watched a short you tube video on the procedure. One thing that surprised me was how tough the air tube detent held the air tube to the frame. It took a lot of pressure to pop it free. I was being careful as it was the first time I took her tupperware off. I was able to floss the inside of the tube by using an old t shirt. The stuck on debris would not release with compressed air. The words of Jeffrey Curran came to mind as I was installing the last few screws: "People that own these bikes and don't work on them are really missing out on one of the best parts of being an owner".